Consultation outcome

AS and A level reform: regulations for maths and further maths

This consultation has concluded

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Detail of outcome

We have decided to adopt the majority of our consultation proposals unchanged. However, we have made drafting changes in response to consultation feedback, and to clarify:

  • the wording of assessment objectives AO2 and AO3
  • our guidance on the use of large data sets in statistics for AS and A level maths
  • our guidance on assessment objectives in both maths and further maths.

In light of the strong support it received, we have also decided to confirm our consultation proposal that the first exams for the new maths A level will take place in summer 2018. This ensures the first year of students taking the new maths A level are not unfairly disadvantaged relative to students in later years.

Feedback received

Analysis of Responses to our Consultation on Conditions and Guidance for AS and A level Mathematics and AS and A level Further Mathematics

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Detail of feedback received

There were 42 responses to our consultation – 26 from organisations and 16 from individuals.

The responses to all of our proposals were generally positive, however there were some specific comments and suggestions, particularly in the responses from subject associations and learned societies.

We have identified several distinct themes within the more detailed responses. Specifically, concerns were raised about:

  • Our proposed regulations relating to the assessment of large data sets.
  • The weighting of assessment objectives, and whether having different weightings of assessment objectives between AS and A level is desirable.
  • The process for making decisions regarding the approval of non-core content in further mathematics.
  • The expectations in terms of sampling the subject content for mathematics.
  • The monitoring and evaluation of new qualifications once teaching has begun.

A number of respondents also raised concerns about the subject content – in particular the accuracy, layout and formatting of the proposed appendices to the content. We have passed on these views to the Department for Education for it to consider

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to


Proposed rules and guidance for new AS and A levels in mathematics and further mathematics.


Consultation description

This consultation is about the rules and guidance we need to put in place for new AS and A levels in mathematics and further mathematics. These rules apply to qualifications in these subjects that will first be taught from September 2017.

This consultation also includes two proposed new appendices to the subject content – covering mathematical notation and formulae which students will be expected to know. Since these appendices relate to the subject content, they have been produced by the Department for Education (DfE), in conjunction with the A Level Content Advisory Board (ALCAB). We are consulting on these on behalf of DfE. They have been included in this consultation so that stakeholders can see all the proposals in one place, and only need to respond to a single consultation.

Our proposals reflect the DfE’s subject content for new AS and A level mathematics and further mathematics, which was developed by ALCAB with the aim of changing how these subjects are taught and assessed.

To support these proposed changes, and the development of good examinations which reflect them, we set up the A level Mathematics Working Group - an expert panel including representatives of ALCAB, subject associations, teachers and exam boards. Alongside this consultation, we are publishing the working group’s report and advice on the assessment of mathematical problem solving and modelling, as well as the use of large data sets in statistics.

The working group’s report has no formal regulatory status. We used it as a main source of evidence when developing the proposals in this consultation. Exam boards will also be able to draw on their involvement in the group, and reflect on its advice, when developing their specifications and sample assessment materials.